Phillips to hold town meeting today

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PHILLIPS – Residents will get another chance to vote on the 2008-2009 fiscal year’s budget tomorrow, when the town holds its second annual budget meeting in the old gym building.

The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. on July 12, in the old gym building on Depot Street in downtown Phillips. While the budget itself will be identical to the one residents refused to vote on at a meeting held at the end of June, town officials are hoping that the additional time will give people a chance to become better informed and study the information. Town Manager Lynn White has been keeping the town office open, working as a volunteer, in order to answer questions.

Phillips town officials, seen here at an earlier selectmen’s meeting with Town Manager Lynn White third, at right, will be presenting an identical budget to voters Saturday who shot it down two weeks ago. The town meeting will start at 9 a.m. in the old gym building on Depot Street.

The budget remains at slightly over $1 million, for the municipal portion. While that represents nearly a zero-point increase from last year’s, the MSAD 58 portion rose to $692,000, an increase of  $117,000. The school district faces lower and lower state subsidies as enrollment numbers decrease, and despite some significant cuts the budget reflects a bigger share being borne by local taxpayers.

If approved the budget would have increased the local tax assessment by 4 mil, however, it is no longer clear if all three of the road reconstruction projects recommended by the road commissioner can be completed in time. Phillips has severe problems on several of its major roadways, but paving companies usually fill up their schedules rapidly in the summer. Sacrificing one of the projects in the interest of time could reduce the $150,000 line item, but the condition of the roads has been a major point of interest at past meetings.

After shutting down, the town has been able to keep a volunteer fire department running, as well as reopen the transfer station with personnel from Avon. Police and ambulance services have not been affected.

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